National Catholic Register
November 15, 2016
A furor has arisen regarding the Pope’s comment in an interview in his flight back to Rome that “Satan got a raw deal from God.” Here are nine things to know and share:
- It is possible that a mistranslation occurred. The colloquial Italian phrase that the Pope used for raw deal can also be understood to mean “distasteful deal”.
- The Holy Father may have been speaking humorously. When Father Lombardi, Vatican spokesman was asked about this, he merely smiled, shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
- If the Pope was speaking seriously, perhaps he was intending to convey how Satan was looking at the situation. Do not most sinners think they get a raw deal? Viewed from that vantage point, the Pope’s statement was correct, albeit incomplete.
- We must recall that this is the Year of Mercy and perhaps the Holy Father was attempting to say that God’s mercy extends even to Satan.
- The Vatican has denied that this statement constituted an all is forgiven message from the Pope to the Prince of Darkness
- This is not a reversal of the traditional teaching of the Church regarding Satan. At most it is a minor development that the Pope may, or may not, expand upon.
- This statement was not made ex cathedra, but it must be treated with respect as Catholics must treat all statements of the Pope with respect.
- Islamic jihadists who are now calling Catholics devil worshipers are completely misinterpreting what the Pope said.
- I am not paid enough for doing this.
Well this is no surprise. Pat Archbold was repeatedly guilty of telling truth out of season which is apparently a mortal sin these days in the Catholic Church:
I am grateful for the five years I spent as a contributor to the Register, the online presence of which has grown immensely during my tenure and that of the other original group of contributors. There is a lot to be proud of there. I stuck with them in hard times even when they were completely broke and it looked like they would blink out of existence, only to be saved at the last minute. Alas and alack, our time together has come to an end.
There are many things I could say about why this happened and how and maybe one day I will say more. But for now, suffice it to say that my particular contributions have not been well received over the last year or so and that has lead to increasing tension. I suppose that is plain to anyone with eyes to see. I will note that upon my departure, among the top 10 posts for the last 3 weeks, you will find three of my contributions.
I am proud of my writing at the Register. I feel I have been consistent in my approach to writing and the topics I cover. I think I brought a viewpoint to the Register that is otherwise not well represented among their stable of good writers. The Church has been going through some tough times and as a consequence I have sometimes tried to tackle some tough issues. I have always tried to do so fairly and as a loyal son of the Church. I will leave it to others to decide whether the Register is better off without my writing or viewpoint. Continue reading
– Jay Anderson has indicated he has written his final blog post, so I will provide him one last link. It seems that the heads of the four families – excuse, me the big four Catholic publications have joined forces and issued a joint editorial. They have set aside their differences and collaborated to discuss the burning issue of the day. Liberal and conservative, orthodox and heterodox: these labels mean nothing when it comes to this unequivocal teaching of the Church*. Yes, finally, America, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, and Our Sunday Visitor have written their joint editorial
calling for an end to abortion, rebutting same-sex marriage, condemning the genocide of Christians taking place in the Middle East, calling for the abolition of the death penalty.
These four Catholic publications have decided that the paramount issue bridging the gap between these distinct entities is the death penalty. What’s more, they’re not calling for the election of local legislators who will vote to outlaw the death penalty in their respective states. Oh no, they’re calling for the raw judicial activism when the Court decides on the case of Glossip v. Gross. Despite the fact that the death penalty is one of the few things manifestly countenanced by the U.S. Constitution, (after all, if you need to write amendments saying you can’t deprive someone of their lives without due process you’re tacitly admitting you can deprive citizens of their lives with due process) these four publications are totally cool with judicial activism so long as such activism comports with their personal preferences.
Jay notes that in his very first blog post he wrote:
Sir Thomas More’s admonition to Roper should serve as a warning and a reminder to Catholics that the activist Court that sides with us in this particular instance is the same activist Court that is likely in the future (as it has in the past) to “turn round on us” and use its increasingly strident activism to decide cases contrary to our Catholic values.
This was in reference to Roper v. Simmons, another death penalty case. Now, here we are, ten years later these supposedly Catholic publications are totally fine with the use of raw judicial power. They’re fine with it now, but where will they be in ten years when judicial activists deprive Catholics of basic First Amendment rights?
Like Jay I am personally opposed to the death penalty, but I’m even more opposed to legislation by judicial fiat, and those who support the Court declaring unconstitutional that which is concretely and unambiguously constitutional are compliant in an act of judicial tyranny, even if it is for an ostensibly good cause.
*Footnote here for the sarcasm impaired. Let’s just say that traditional Catholic teaching is no more prohibitive of the death penalty than the U.S. Constitution.
– Anna Mussmann muses that we’re over-complicating motherhood. It’s of a similar vein to what I’ve written before, suggesting that helicopter parenting is a symptom of selfish parenting. Her take is a little different, but well worth the read.
– I just can’t quit the latest Clinton scandal. It’s odd that this is the thing that has dented the Clintons’ teflon coating, to the point where even Lawrence O’Donnell is abandoning ship. Now the website Gawker demonstrates that Clinton’s use of a personal email account was a huge security risk. Long story short, Clinton preferred having her emails fall in the lap of Russia than an intrusive American press.
– Here’s another Hot Air link. The Republican party now controls more state houses than any point in recent history, and they owe it all to President Obama. The party that is supposedly on its deathbed is routing Democrats at all local levels. This ascendancy started before Obama was immaculated, but has only sped up since.
– Darwin’s take on when to call the cops on a kid.
If you see a property or violent crime being committed, by all means call the cops. Or if a kid is doing something which seems likely to directly result in death or injury. If a child seems genuinely lost, upset or hurt, and you’re not able to find an adult connected with them (especially if you’ve taken the time to ask the kid if she needs help and she says yes) then by all means summon help.
But keep in mind that calling the cops on a family can have traumatic (and at times even fatal) consequences. “I wouldn’t let my kid walk home alone,” is probably not a serious enough reason, unless you happen to live rather literally in a war zone.
– A victory today for the revolutionaries who dared to sled on Capitol Hill.
Ever since Congressman Paul Ryan announced his budget plan, claiming that it was inspired by his understanding of Catholic social teaching (CST) in general and subsidiarity in particular, old debates about the meaning of CST have flared up once again. Michael Sean Winters of NCR blasted Ryan’s conception of “subsidiarity”; then Stephen White of Catholic Vote critiqued some of Winter’s own oversimplifications. Since everyone and their aunt in the Catholic blogosphere will weigh in on this at some point, I’ll get it over with and throw in my two-cents now.
First: I do believe that some of Ryan’s statements are oversimplifications. For instance, he claimed that subsidiarity and federalism were more or less synonyms for one another. They are not. Stephen White pointed out that these concepts are complimentary, however, and they are.
Secondly: Winters, and he is not alone in this, repeats Vatican statements about “access” to health care as if they were an exact equivalent with Obamacare or other types of government-run healthcare schemes. As White pointed out, Winters presents his leftist policy preferences as non-negotiable points of CST.
Third: I think the entire framework of this discussion needs a serious overhaul.
One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church. Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration. Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church. One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently. He is at it again over at First Things.
I will be interviewed on the radio today at 5pm (Eastern) on the In His Sign Network radio station. They are a lay Catholic radio apostolate located in Rosemont, PA. They broadcast daily live from 5 to 6pm (Eastern) WTMR-800 AM and on the Internet at www.inhissign.com.
The interview will be about The American Catholic and the other Catholic websites that I operate as well as my work on the National Catholic Register.
This is my first interview and it is an already humbling experience. Pray for me that I won’t make a fool of myself!
The secular website About.com is running a contest of which is the Best Catholic Newspaper (among many other categories). I’d like our readers to go visit their website to vote for the National Catholic Register as their choice (if it’s not your choice, move along and read the other articles here on our website).
The National Catholic Register is America’s oldest Catholic newspaper as well as being the most read and well written. They hold fidelity to the teachings of the Magisterium so you know you’re getting high quality articles.
To vote for the National Catholic Register please click here.
Salvete AC readers!
Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in the world of Catholicism:
1. Sadly most of us will miss the Catholic Report blog run by Dave Hartline. Due to pleasant new circumstances of a new member of the family, Dave will be rolling back some of his extra-curricular activities to attend to his growing family. In addition Dave will be the newest contributor to the American Catholic website and joining our family of writers.
2. Since First Things began gobbling up good bloggers such as Spengler, Wesley J. Smith, and Elizabeth Scalia and adding writers such as the American Catholic’s own Christopher Blosser, Jay Anderson, and Joseph Bottum under the First Thoughts blog, their website has gotten a WHOLE lot better. Many interesting stories and newsbites all neatly marketed in a spiffy new look.
I suggest you all check it out here.
I posted a while back about the publication of Alphonse, a graphic novel written by Matthew Lickona and drawn by Chris Gugliotti. I’ve since had a chance to read Alphonse, Issue One and enjoyed it. It’s an off-beat and dark story, but a very evocative one. Alphonse’s mother is a serious druggie — long in denial about the fact she is pregnant. When she shows up at a women’s health clinic, 34 weeks pregnant, she insists that she can’t go through with the pregnancy, and a doctor agrees to provide an abortion and hysterectomy. However, Alphonse is not your ordinary, helpless child of 34 weeks gestation. He is, through fate or the harsh mix of chemicals his mother’s habits have exposed him to, aware of her thoughts and his danger, and also unusually coordinated for his size and age.
In the first issue we see his escape from the abortion clinic, and his rescue by a pro-life protester who takes him home and begins to nurse him through the withdrawal which removal from his mother’s chemical habits causes. A man of action despite standing under twenty inches tall, Alphonse seems poised to bring about changes in the intersecting lives of a number of characters.
Alphonse is not a political cartoon or simple message book. It is a gritty fantasy told in a macabrely inventive visual style — using a fantastic situation to explore a topic which is often considered radioactive in our society. Abortion is a topic which many seek to pigeonhole quietly by declaring a “tragedy”. Alphonse seeks to be the Macbeth to this tragedy — bloody, bold and resolute.
Author Matthew Lickona agreed to answer a set of questions for me in order to provide you with this interview.